Fosque Phenomenal for Long Branch in Week 1 Win Over Manasquan By James Smith


On Friday night he placed his NCAA Division I skill-set on full display.


By the time he woke up the next morning, Long Branch wide receiver T.J. Fosque had his first NCAA Division I offer in hand.

Fosque was a highly-touted talent entering the 2017 season, but failed to draw any official attention from the collegiate ranks.

That all changed on opening night, when Fosque played an instrumental role (and that’s really understating his contributions that evening) in Long Branch’s Week 1 win over Class B North rival and defending Central Group II sectional state champion Manasquan.

“It feels great to get that first offer. I’ve been working hard to receive that sort of recognition, but I really feel more motivated now than ever,” said Fosque. “I feel like now that I have an offer, I want to continue to go out and prove that I’m worth it; that I’m worth the recognition; that I’m worth the attention.”

If Fosque continues to perform like he did against Manasquan, Monmouth certainly won’t be the last collegiate program to come calling, as the receiver hauled in six catches for 178 yards and three touchdowns.

“Games like that, it’s why you put in the hard work in the off-season. It’s why we came out here and worked so hard in the summer,” said Fosque. “Just so we were prepared for opponents like this, and to win big games.”

Admittedly, it’s been some time since Long Branch has had a big win to celebrate, as the Green Wave has played to a combined record of 5-15 since Fosque started to make his mark at the varsity level two season ago.

But Long Branch and their standout receiver started early on this triumph over the Warriors, as the Green Wave struck first when quarterback Juwan Wilkins delivered a 26-yard touchdown pass to Fosque in the opening minutes of the first quarter.

Later in the game, the seniors connected again on a 54-yard scoring strike to make it a 21-7 Long Branch advantage.

The dynamic duo’s third and final venture to the end zone came in the third quarter, when Fosque brought down a 37-yard touchdown pass to make it a 28-13 game in an eventual nine-point decision.

“It’s one thing to say that we were going to come out here and have a big season, but it’s another thing to actually do it,” said Fosque. “But now we’ve seen what we’re capable of as a team; what we’re capable of accomplishing. And it’s opened our eyes a little bit.”

However, Fosque also has an understanding that this is just a single step in a lengthy journey toward achieving the goals he and his teammates have set.

“It was a great first game, but we know that’s all it was… one game. We still have a long way to go this season and a lot more work to put in before we get to where we want to be. It’s definitely a confidence booster, but we have some things to improve upon.”

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